It may come as no surprise that alcohol and drug abuse can have a negative effect on your life. Abusing these substances can alter everything from your bank account and your relationships to your health and your personality.
Research has also shown that drug and alcohol abuse can:
- Alter your brain chemistry
- Damage important organs
- Have an impact on your immune system – meaning your body is unable to fight off serious infections like pneumonia
- Impact your metabolism
- Make you gain or lose weight
- Lead to premature death.
While the majority of us already know about the common side effects of drug and alcohol abuse, do you really know the full extent of what these substances can do to your health? Understanding the impact these substances have on your body is crucial if you want to be able to change your life for the better.
Abusing alcohol or drugs could cause long-term harm to your body. So, before you pour yourself another drink or you reach for the mood enhancing drugs, make sure you understand the harmful effects that they can have. Keep reading below to find out about some of the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse on your health and your life:
1. Health Effects
Alcohol and drug abuse can impact your health in a variety of ways. In actual fact, it can have a negative impact on nearly every major organ in your body. Here are some of the ways that alcohol and drugs can affect different parts of your body:
- Your heart – alcohol and drug addiction can lead to an increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. It also increases your chances of having a heart attack and dying prematurely.
- Your liver – alcohol and drug addiction can cause inflammation in your body. This can lead to fibrosis, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver
- Your pancreas – consuming alcohol and drugs can cause swelling of your blood vessels. This swelling can lead to your body becoming malnourished as it can no longer digest important nutrients.
- Your kidneys – evidence has shown that people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs are at an increased risk of getting kidney failure or kidney disease.
- Immune system – alcohol and drugs can put you at an increased risk of getting diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis. They can also reduce your body’s ability to fight these serious infections.
Drug and alcohol abuse have also been shown to increase your chances of getting certain types of cancer including:
Over the long-term, the effects of addiction on your health can be significant, and they’re often difficult or impossible to reverse. So, keep this in mind when you reach for another drink or you’re tempted to take some drugs.
2. Brain Chemistry
The most complex organ in the human body is the brain. This amazing and clever organ is responsible for controlling the psychological processes and thoughts that keep us alive. So, protecting this organ is extremely important.
Research has shown that alcohol and drug abuse can have a negative impact on the way our brains works. It can change the way we feel by altering the chemicals within our brains. These chemicals are needed in order to keep our brains running smoothly.
When someone uses drugs or alcohol, their brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine can make a person feel calmer, more confident, more relaxed and happier. The majority of people like this feeling, which is why they start taking these substances on a regular basis. After all, it’s only normal to want more of the things that make you feel good, right?
The problem is that, over time, your body starts to get used to the extra dopamine in your brain. This can then lead to your brain becoming dependent on getting this extra chemical. Once this happens, you will see changes in:
- Bodily processes
If you’re worried about yourself or someone you know who is addicted to drugs or alcohol and you want some advice on the next steps to take then contact Harris House. They have over 50 years of experience in helping individuals suffering with addiction. They also offer a dual diagnosis, service for people who suffer with mental health issues like depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
3. Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Lots of people around the world are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction can change the way someone reacts or behaves in certain situations and it can also have an impact on the decisions we make. Many people who suffer with alcohol or drug dependence forget about the importance of not sharing needles. Sharing needles can lead to diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Less serious illness like the common cold can also be contracted by sharing bongs or pipes.
Research has shown that when people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are also much more likely to engage in sexual intercourse without protection. Having unprotected sex can increase your chances of catching a sexually transmitted infection or disease.
4. Your Career
Substance abuse can have an impact on your success and productivity at work or at school. The time you spend taking and recuperating from these substances could be used for better things such as advancing your career or learning something new.
5. Financial Problems
The majority of us know that drugs and alcohol are expensive to buy. So, if you’re using them on a regular basis, you may find you end up in financial difficulty.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs could lead to a suspended driver’s license, a heavy fine or even some time in jail. After all, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous.
7. Your Family
Profound drug or alcohol use can have a huge impact on all members of the family. Parents, siblings and other family members are all caught in the whirlwind that drug problems create.
Evidence has shown that alcohol and drug abuse can create an unstable environment for children to grow up in. This can lead to children growing up with emotional of psychological damage. Not only this, but it is also one of the main causes of a relationship breakdown.
8. Your Job
Drug and alcohol abuse can have a negative impact on all areas of your life including your job. Many employers now demand that potential employees take a drug test during the hiring process. Some companies also choose to conduct blood tests on a regular basis to make sure their employees aren’t under the influence of any substances. Refusing to take the test could mean that you lose your job.
The number of drug related deaths in the US is on the rise. In actual fact, this number has doubled in the last 40 years. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 deaths around the world are linked to drug or alcohol abuse. If you’re worried that you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction, then why not see what support is available near you?